This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 3 (of 11) in Section 8: "The Kings of Israel and Judah, and Disaster and Prosperity Brought on the Two Kingdoms According to Their Obedience or Disobedience to God".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.
1 Kings chapter 16 (TEV)
1 The Lord spoke to the prophet Jehu son of Hanani and gave him this message for Baasha:
2 "You were a nobody, but I made you the leader of my people Israel. And now you have sinned like Jeroboam and have led my people into sin. Their sins have aroused my anger, 3 and so I will do away with you and your family, just as I did with Jeroboam. 4 Any members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any who die in the open country will be eaten by vultures."
5 Everything else that Baasha did and all his brave deeds are recorded in [The History of the Kings of Israel.]
6 Baasha died and was buried in Tirzah, and his son Elah succeeded him as king.
7 That message from the Lord against Baasha and his family was given by the prophet Jehu because of the sins that Baasha committed against the Lord. He aroused the Lord's anger not only because of the evil he did, just as King Jeroboam had done before him, but also because he killed all of Jeroboam's family.
1 Kings chapter 16 (NIV)
8 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years.
9 Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the man in charge of the palace at Tirzah. 10 Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king.
11 As soon as he began to reign and was seated on the throne, he killed off Baasha's whole family. He did not spare a single male, whether relative or friend. 12 So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu- 13 because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, so that they provoked the LORD , the God of Israel, to anger by their worthless idols.
14 As for the other events of Elah's reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. 16 When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah.
18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD and walking in the ways of Jeroboam and in the sin he had committed and had caused Israel to commit.
20 As for the other events of Zimri's reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
21 Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. 22 But Omri's followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king.
Modern Western Paganism is devoid of such gruesome practices as child sacrifice and the dedication of girls to the gods as prostitutes. Some Pagans have been slandered by people who imagine that they must be involved in gruesome activities, perhaps because of widespread reports of generational Satanic ritual abuse in which girls are made to breed babies for the purposes of human sacrifice. To find out more about the reports, read the views of a policeman who says there is no physical evidence for such things having happened, and believes the stories to have been invented during harmful therapies: 'Occult Cop' (IPT Journal).
1 Kings chapter 16 (NLT)
23 Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-first year of King Asa's reign in Judah. He reigned twelve years in all, six of them in Tirzah.
24 Then Omri bought the hill now known as Samaria from its owner, Shemer, for 150 pounds of silver. He built a city on it and called the city Samaria in honor of Shemer.
25 But Omri did what was evil in the LORD's sight, even more than any of the kings before him. 26 He followed the example of Jeroboam, continuing the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. Thus, he aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel.
27 The rest of the events in Omri's reign, the extent of his power, and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 28 When Omri died, he was buried in Samaria. Then his son Ahab became the next king.
29 Ahab son of Omri began to rule over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa's reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 But Ahab did what was evil in the LORD's sight, even more than any of the kings before him. 31 And as though it were not enough to live like Jeroboam, he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to worship Baal. 32 First he built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria. 33 Then he set up an Asherah pole. He did more to arouse the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him.
Psalm 35 (NLT)
1 A psalm of David.
O LORD, oppose those who oppose me.
Declare war on those who are attacking me.
11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.
They accuse me of things I don't even know about.
12 They repay me with evil for the good I do.
I am sick with despair.
13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
I even fasted and prayed for them,
but my prayers returned unanswered.
14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
as if I were grieving for my own mother.
15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don't even know;
they hurl slander at me continually.
16 They mock me with the worst kind of profanity,
and they snarl at me.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
Protect my life from these lions!
18 Then I will thank you in front of the entire congregation.
I will praise you before all the people.
19 Don't let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
Don't let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
20 They don't talk of peace;
they plot against innocent people who are minding their own business.
21 They shout that they have seen me doing wrong.
"Aha," they say. "Aha! With our own eyes we saw him do it!"
22 O LORD, you know all about this.
Do not stay silent.
Don't abandon me now, O Lord.
23 Wake up! Rise to my defense!
Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
24 Declare me "not guilty," O LORD my God,
for you give justice.
Don't let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
25 Don't let them say, "Look! We have what we wanted!
Now we will eat him alive!"
26 May those who rejoice at my troubles be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me be covered with shame and dishonor.
27 But give great joy to those who have stood with me in my defense.
Let them continually say,
"Great is the LORD, who enjoys helping his servant."
28 Then I will tell everyone of your justice and goodness,
and I will praise you all day long.
2 Chronicles chapter 17 (NLT)
5 The LORD established Jehoshaphat's control over the kingdom of Judah. All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so he became very wealthy and highly esteemed. 6 He was committed to the ways of the LORD. He knocked down the pagan shrines and destroyed the Asherah poles. 7 In the third year of his reign, Jehoshaphat sent out his officials to teach in all the towns of Judah. 8 He sent Levites along with them, ... He also sent out the priests, Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They took copies of the Book of the Law of the LORD and traveled around through all the towns of Judah, teaching the people.
10 Then the fear of the LORD fell over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them declared war on Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought him gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought seventy-seven hundred rams and seventy-seven hundred male goats.
12 So Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful and built fortresses and store cities throughout Judah. 13 He stored numerous supplies in Judah's towns and stationed an army of seasoned troops at Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles chapter 18 (TEV)
1 When King Jehoshaphat of Judah became rich and famous, he arranged a marriage between a member of his family and the family of King Ahab of Israel.
1 Kings chapter 17 (TEV)
1 A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, "In the name of the Lord, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so."
2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 "Leave this place and go east and hide yourself near Cherith Brook, east of the Jordan. 4 The brook will supply you with water to drink, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there."
5 Elijah obeyed the Lord's command, and went and stayed by Cherith Brook. 6 He drank water from the brook, and ravens brought him bread and meat every morning and every evening. 7 After a while the brook dried up because of the lack of rain.
8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 "Now go to the town of Zarephath, near Sidon, and stay there. I have commanded a widow who lives there to feed you."
10 So Elijah went to Zarephath, and as he came to the town gate, he saw a widow gathering firewood. "Please bring me a drink of water," he said to her. 11 And as she was going to get it, he called out, "And please bring me some bread, too."
12 She answered, "By the living Lord your God I swear that I don't have any bread. All I have is a handful of flour in a bowl and a bit of olive oil in a jar. I came here to gather some firewood to take back home and prepare what little I have for my son and me. That will be our last meal, and then we will starve to death."
13 "Don't worry," Elijah said to her. "Go on and prepare your meal. But first make a small loaf from what you have and bring it to me, and then prepare the rest for you and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: "The bowl will not run out of flour or the jar run out of oil before the day that I, the Lord, send rain.' "
15 The widow went and did as Elijah had told her, and all of them had enough food for many days. 16 As the Lord had promised through Elijah, the bowl did not run out of flour nor did the jar run out of oil.
17 Some time later the widow's son got sick; he got worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 She said to Elijah, "Man of God, why did you do this to me? Did you come here to remind God of my sins and so cause my son's death?"
19 "Give the boy to me," Elijah said.
He took the boy from her arms, carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying, and laid him on the bed. 20 Then he prayed aloud, "O Lord my God, why have you done such a terrible thing to this widow? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son!
21 Then Elijah stretched himself out on the boy three times and prayed, "O Lord my God, restore this child to life!"
22 The Lord answered Elijah's prayer; the child started breathing again and revived. 23 Elijah took the boy back downstairs to his mother and said to her, "Look, your son is alive!"
24 She answered, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the Lord really speaks through you!"
1 Kings chapter 18 (TEV)
1 After some time, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, "Go and present yourself to King Ahab, and I will send rain." 2 So Elijah started out.
The famine in Samaria was at its worst, 3 so Ahab called in Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. (Obadiah was a devout worshiper of the Lord, 4 and when Jezebel was killing the Lord's prophets, Obadiah took a hundred of them, hid them in caves in two groups of fifty, and provided them with food and water.) 5 Ahab said to Obadiah, "Let us go and look at every spring and every stream bed in the land to see if we can find enough grass to keep the horses and mules alive. Maybe we won't have to kill any of our animals." 6 They agreed on which part of the land each one would explore, and set off in different directions.
7 As Obadiah was on his way, he suddenly met Elijah. He recognized him, bowed low before him, and asked, "Is it really you, sir?"
8 "Yes, I'm Elijah," he answered. "Go and tell your master the king that I am here."
9 Obadiah answered, "What have I done that you want to put me in danger of being killed by King Ahab? 10 By the living Lord, your God, I swear that the king has made a search for you in every country in the world. Whenever the ruler of a country reported that you were not in his country, Ahab would require that ruler to swear that you could not be found. 11 And now you want me to go and tell him that you are here? 12 What if the spirit of the Lord carries you off to some unknown place as soon as I leave? Then, when I tell Ahab that you are here and he can't find you, he will put me to death. Remember that I have been a devout worshiper of the Lord ever since I was a boy. 13 Haven't you heard that when Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord I hid a hundred of them in caves, in two groups of fifty, and supplied them with food and water? 14 So how can you order me to go and tell the king that you are here? He will kill me!"
15 Elijah answered, "By the living Lord Almighty, whom I serve, I promise that I will present myself to the king today."
16 So Obadiah went to King Ahab and told him, and Ahab set off to meet Elijah.
17 When Ahab saw him, he said, "So there you are-the worst troublemaker in Israel!"
18 "I'm not the troublemaker," Elijah answered. "You are - you and your father. You are disobeying the Lord's commands and worshiping the idols of Baal. 19 Now order all the people of Israel to meet me at Mount Carmel. Bring along the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah who are supported by Queen Jezebel."
20 So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and the prophets of Baal to meet at Mount Carmel.
21 Elijah went up to the people and said, "How much longer will it take you to make up your minds? If the Lord is God, worship him; but if Baal is God, worship him!" But the people didn't say a word. 22 Then Elijah said, "I am the only prophet of the Lord still left, but there are 450 prophets of Baal. 23 Bring two bulls; let the prophets of Baal take one, kill it, cut it in pieces, and put it on the wood-but don't light the fire. I will do the same with the other bull. 24 Then let the prophets of Baal pray to their god, and I will pray to the Lord, and the one who answers by sending fire-he is God."
The people shouted their approval.
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Since there are so many of you, you take a bull and prepare it first. Pray to your god, but don't set fire to the wood."
26 They took the bull that was brought to them, prepared it, and prayed to Baal until noon. They shouted, "Answer us, Baal!" and kept dancing around the altar they had built. But no answer came. 27 At noon Elijah started making fun of them: "Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is day-dreaming or relieving himself, or perhaps he's gone off on a trip! Or maybe he's sleeping, and you've got to wake him up!" 28 So the prophets prayed louder and cut themselves with knives and daggers, according to their ritual, until blood flowed. 29 They kept on ranting and raving until the middle of the afternoon; but no answer came, not a sound was heard.
30 Then Elijah said to the people, "Come closer to me," and they all gathered around him. He set about repairing the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. 31 He took twelve stones, one for each of the twelve tribes named for the sons of Jacob, the man to whom the Lord had given the name Israel. 32 With these stones he rebuilt the altar for the worship of the Lord. He dug a trench around it, large enough to hold about four gallons of water. 33 Then he placed the wood on the altar, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, "Fill four jars with water and pour it on the offering and the wood." They did so, 34 and he said, "Do it again"-and they did. "Do it once more," he said-and they did. 35 The water ran down around the altar and filled the trench. 36 At the hour of the afternoon sacrifice the prophet Elijah approached the altar and prayed, "O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove now that you are the God of Israel and that I am your servant and have done all this at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so that this people will know that you, the Lord, are God and that you are bringing them back to yourself."
38 The Lord sent fire down, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones, scorched the earth and dried up the water in the trench. 39 When the people saw this, they threw themselves on the ground and exclaimed, "The Lord is God; the Lord alone is God!"
40 Elijah ordered, "Seize the prophets of Baal; don't let any of them get away!" The people seized them all, and Elijah led them down to Kishon Brook and killed them.
41 Then Elijah said to King Ahab, "Now, go and eat. I hear the roar of rain approaching."
42 While Ahab went to eat, Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel, where he bowed down to the ground, with his head between his knees. 43 He said to his servant, "Go and look toward the sea."
The servant went and returned, saying, "I didn't see a thing."
Seven times in all Elijah told him to go and look. 44 The seventh time he returned and said, "I saw a little cloud no bigger than a man's hand, coming up from the sea."
Elijah ordered his servant, "Go to King Ahab and tell him to get in his chariot and go back home before the rain stops him."
45 In a little while the sky was covered with dark clouds, the wind began to blow, and a heavy rain began to fall. Ahab got in his chariot and started back to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah; he fastened his clothes tight around his waist and ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
1 Kings chapter 19 (GWT)
1 Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including how he had executed all the prophets. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah. She said, "May the gods strike me dead if by this time tomorrow I don't take your life the way you took the lives of Baal's prophets."
3 Frightened, Elijah fled to save his life. He came to Beersheba in Judah and left his servant there. 4 Then he traveled through the wilderness for a day. He sat down under a broom plant and wanted to die. "I've had enough now, LORD," he said. "Take my life! I'm no better than my ancestors." 5 Then he lay down and slept under the broom plant.
An angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." 6 When he looked, he saw near his head some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water. So he ate, drank, and went to sleep again.
7 The angel of the LORD came back and woke him up again. The angel said, "Get up and eat, or your journey will be too much for you." 8 He got up, ate, and drank.
Strengthened by that food, he traveled for 40 days and nights until he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night.
Then the LORD spoke his word to Elijah. He asked, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
10 He answered, "LORD God of Armies, I have eagerly served you. The Israelites have abandoned your promises, torn down your altars, and executed your prophets. I'm the only one left, and they're trying to take my life."
11 God said, "Go out and stand in front of the LORD on the mountain."
As the LORD was passing by, a fierce wind tore mountains and shattered rocks ahead of the LORD. But the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind came an earthquake. But the LORD wasn't in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake there was a fire. But the LORD wasn't in the fire.
And after the fire there was a quiet, whispering voice.
13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat, went out, and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then the voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
14 He answered, "LORD God of Armies, I have eagerly served you. The Israelites have abandoned your promises, torn down your altars, and executed your prophets. I'm the only one left, and they're trying to take my life."
15 The LORD told him, "Go back to the wilderness near Damascus, the same way you came. When you get there, anoint Hazael as king of Aram. 16 Anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king of Israel. And anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat, from Abel Meholah as prophet to take your place. 17 If anyone escapes from Hazael's sword, Jehu will kill him. And if anyone escapes from Jehu's sword, Elisha will kill him. 18 But I still have 7,000 people in Israel whose knees have not knelt to worship Baal."
Psalm 17 (NLT)
1 A prayer of David.
O LORD, hear my plea for justice.
Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
for it comes from an honest heart.
2 Declare me innocent,
for you know those who do right.
3 You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
You have scrutinized me and found nothing amiss,
for I am determined not to sin in what I say.
4 I have followed your commands,
which have kept me from going along with cruel and evil people.
5 My steps have stayed on your path;
I have not wavered from following you.
6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
You save with your strength those who seek refuge from their enemies.
8 Guard me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity. Listen to their boasting.
11 They track me down, surround me, and throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart -
like young lions in hiding, waiting for their chance.
13 Arise, O LORD!
Stand against them and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 Save me by your mighty hand, O LORD,
from those whose only concern is earthly gain.
May they have their punishment in full.
1 Kings chapter 19 (GWT)
19 Elijah found Elisha, son of Shaphat. Elisha was plowing behind 12 pairs of oxen. He was using the twelfth pair. Elijah took off his coat and put it on Elisha. 20 So Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Please let me kiss my father and mother goodbye. Then I will follow you."
"Go back," Elijah answered him. "I'm not stopping you."
21 Elisha left him, took two oxen, and butchered them. He boiled the meat, using the oxen's yoke [for firewood]. He gave the meat to the people to eat. Then he left to follow and assist Elijah.
The Bible does not instruct Christians and ordinary people to be violent towards Pagans or to destroy their places of worship. The Bible indicates that God illustrated in Old Testament times how much he objects to the worship of other gods and disobedience to his commands. The Bible instructs Christians and ordinary individuals to behave in a very different way to the way in which God wanted the kings of Israel and Judah to behave. To find out more, visit What The Bible Says About Violence, Anger, Jealousy, Arguments, And Living In Peace With Each Other.
The next file in this section (Part 4), is entitled: "Battles With The Syrians; Judgment Pronounced On The Dynasty Of King Ahab; And The Israelites Supernaturally Enticed To Go To War, To Lose".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:
There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:
Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:
If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.
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Go to the Broadcaster.org.uk home page to find out more.....